How to Install Rear Shocks on a Truck

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The purpose of shock absorbers in a car or truck is just as the name implies: they absorb the bumps and help smooth out the ride. Like many components on a vehicle, over time they tend to wear and require replacement. The rear shocks on a truck are probably among the most susceptible to wear. Trucks often carry heavy payloads which in turn, tend to put added stresses on the rear shock absorbers. When this happens, new shocks must be installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • 3/4-inch combination wrench
  • 3/4-inch deep well socket
  • 9/16-inch combination wrench
  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet
  • 4-inch ratchet extension
  • Automotive jack stands (2)

Installing Rear Shocks on a Truck

  • Park the truck on a hard surface where vehicle can be jacked up and placed on automotive stands.

  • Jack the rear of the truck up by placing the floor jack under the rear axle and jacking the back tires off the ground. When tires are clear, place a jack stand under the left and right side truck frame.

  • Lower the floor jack and rest the truck frame onto the jack stands. Remove the floor jack from under the truck.

  • Prepare the shock absorbers for removal by cleaning the stud bolt and threads in the lower shock hanger with a wire brush. Brush the accessible portion of the upper shock absorber stud sticking out above the top hanger. Spray a light coat of lubricant on the upper and lower exposed threads.

  • Remove the driver's side shock by removing the nut off the stud at the top of the shock using the 9/16-inch open end wrench. Remove the bottom stud bolt from the lower shock hanger by removing the nut and backing it out using 3/4-inch wrench and socket. Pull the shock absorber out and set aside. Repeat the process for the passenger side shock absorber.

  • Install the first shock on the driver’s side of the truck. The parts required to install the shocks are included in the shock package. Place one of the steel washers and rubber grommet onto the threaded stud on the first shock. Insert the stud through the shock hanger located just above and to the inside of the rear wheel. With stud inserted into the shock hanger, place the second rubber grommet and large washer onto the stud.

  • Start the nut onto the shock absorber stud and tighten it hand tight. Cut the retaining band and allow the shock to extend. Align the bottom of the shock with the shock hanger that is welded onto the rear axle.

  • Insert the long bolt through both the lower shock hanger and the bottom of the shock. Install the flat washer on the threaded end of the stud and screw on the stud nut. Tighten the nut with the 3/4-inch wrench while holding back-up on the bolt with a 3/4-inch socket. Tighten the nut.

  • Tighten the top nut of the shock absorber using the 9/16-inch wrench as tight as possible using just the wrench.

  • Repeat the same installation for the shock absorber on the passenger’s side of the truck. Once all the bolts and nuts are installed and tight, prepare to lower the rear of the truck.

  • Place the floor jack under the rear axle and jack the truck off of the jack stands. Remove the jack stands from underneath the truck and set aside. Lower the floor jack completely and remove the jack from underneath the truck.

  • Test drive the truck with the new shock absorbers in order to check for proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean the shock absorber hangers with a wire brush to aid with installation of new shock absorbers
  • Ensure truck is secured in place and can't roll off automotive jacks while working under vehicle.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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